By Bill And Teddy Rogers
1. THE BIRTH OF JESUS FORETOLD
According to the Bible, Jesus was born to Mary and Joseph, who were both from the town of Nazareth. Mary was a virgin when she became pregnant with Jesus, and this was due to an immaculate conception. The Bible tells us that an angel appeared to Mary and told her that she was to give birth to a son, who would be the Son of God.
2. THE ANGEL GABRIEL IS SENT TO MARY
Luke 1:26-35 (NLT) says “God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. Gabriel appeared to her and said, Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!
Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. Don’t be afraid, Mary, the angel told her, for you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His ancestor David. And He will reign over Israel forever; His Kingdom will never end!
Mary asked the angel, But how can this happen? I am a virgin. The angel replied, the Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and He will be called the Son of God.”
3. JOSEPH AND MARY MUST GO TO BETHLEHEM
Close to the end of her pregnancy, Joseph and Mary had to go to Bethlehem to register for a census and pay their taxes. When they arrived there, they found that there was no room at the inn. They were forced to stay in a stable, where Mary gave birth to Jesus.
4. THE SHEPHERDS AND ANGELS
The Bible also tells us that angels appeared to shepherds in the fields nearby, announcing the birth of Jesus.
Luke 2:8-20 (NLT) says “That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”
“Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger.
After seeing Him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.”
Note: These were not ordinary shepherds. These shepherds were Levite priests who were fulfilling their temple duties and were responsible for taking care of the flocks that were intended for the sacrifices in the Temple in Jerusalem about five miles away. It was the priests’ job to make sure the lambs were without blemish and completely unharmed before being sacrificed.
5. VISITORS ARRIVE FROM THE EAST
The Bible also tells us that wise men from the East came to pay tribute to the newborn king.
Matthew 2:1-12 (NLT) says “Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw His star as it rose, and we have come to worship Him.”
King Herod was deeply disturbed when he heard this, as was everyone in Jerusalem. He called a meeting of the leading priests and teachers of religious law and asked, “Where is the Messiah supposed to be born?”
“In Bethlehem in Judea,” they said, “for this is what the prophet wrote: ‘And you, O Bethlehem in the land of Judah, are not least among the ruling cities of Judah,for a ruler will come from you who will be the shepherd for my people Israel.’”
Then Herod called for a private meeting with the wise men, and he learned from them the time when the star first appeared. Then he told them, “Go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child. And when you find him, come back and tell me so that I can go and worship him, too!”
After this interview the wise men went their way. And the star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were filled with joy!They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Note: The wise men had come from a great distance away and arrived about two years after the birth of Jesus when Joseph and Mary were living in a house in Bethlehem.
6. KING HEROD ATTEMPTS TO KILL JESUS
Matthew 2:16 (NLT) says “Herod was furious when he realized that the wise men had outwitted him. He sent soldiers to kill all the boys in and around Bethlehem who were two years old and under, based on the wise men’s report of the star’s first appearance.”
7. JOSEPH AND MARY FLEE TO EGYPT
Matthew 2:13-15 (NLT) says “After the wise men were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up! Flee to Egypt with the child and his mother,” the angel said. “Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” That night Joseph left for Egypt with the child and Mary, his mother, and they stayed there until Herod’s death. This fulfilled what the Lord had spoken through the prophet: “I called my Son out of Egypt.”
8. THE SIGNIFICANCE OF JESUS
The birth of Jesus is significant because it is believed to represent the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies about the coming of the Messiah. Jesus’ birth also symbolizes hope and redemption, as it is believed that He was sent by God to save humanity from sin and bring us closer to God.
The story of Jesus’ birth has been retold and interpreted in many different ways since the time of the Bible. It has been the subject of countless works of art, including paintings, sculptures, and stained-glass windows. It has also been the basis for many Christmas carols and hymns, such as “Silent Night” and “Joy to the World”.
9. GIVING THANKS FOR THE GIFT OF JESUS CHRIST
Today, the birth of Jesus is celebrated by Christians all over the world on December 25th, which is known as Christmas Day. This is a day of celebration, prayer, and reflection, where Christians come together with friends and family to give thanks for the gift of Jesus Christ.
Note: The actual birth day of Jesus was not December 25. The date we celebrate was adopted by the Christian church as the birthday of Christ in the fourth century. According to Bible Scholars, Jesus was actually born in mid-September to early in October. Temperatures were still fairly warm and that is why the shepherds were still watching their flocks in the fields.
The birth of Jesus remains a significant event in our Christian faith. It is an occasion that represents hope, redemption, and the fulfillment of God’s promises to humanity. The story of Jesus’ birth has been retold countless times, and continues to inspire people all over the world to this day.
In conclusion, because we know that the Savior of the world has come, we should be praising and thanking God every day of the year, not just on Christmas Day.
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